Sunday, September 25, 2005

Welcome home peace protesters

I hope and trust that our friends who attended the peace protest in Washington arrived home safe and sound today. I was disappointed that it conflicted with the singing convention because Only Son and I might well have gone.

I remember well the first large demonstration I attended in April 1971, the week before the infamous May Day demonstrations (scroll to 'Stop the Government') and mass arrests. I rode from Cleveland to Washington with three friends from school; one of them shot photos (slides) & I recorded music and interviewed participants on my cheap little tape recorder and we put them together into a senior English class project. I wish I still had it.

I don't know what my friend Dave Rogers did with the slides, but I do have the raw, unedited cassette tapes, if they haven't disintergrated yet. On them are recordings of Pete Seeger singing Last Train to Nuremburg, Phil Ochs singing I Ain't a-Marchin' Anymore, a string of cursing veterans (that almost got Dave and me kick out of school for including in the program) and a powerful speech (a variation on what he testified to Congress) given by a tall lanky guy in fatigues who we had met briefly with a group of veterans around a campfire in front of the Lincoln Memorial very early that Saturday morning. I remember telling myself at the time that this guy had the chance of making a difference. If only that courageous young man, rather than this timid one, had run for president. . . .

I felt that I had participated in an historic event and wish that Only Son had been able to go with me to the one yesterday. It is sad consolation that we'll have plenty of other opportunities.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Re. "this timid one..."

I know what you mean. I don't know how America is ever going to find real leadership again. It seems to me the way that we finance our political campaigns is basic to this problem.

Every "leader" is actually being led by the corporations that put him in office. Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court ruling that equated giving money with "free speech" - that's the one thing you never hear politicians refer to when they sing and dance around the issue of campaign finance reform at election time. Because that's the system they got in under.